This is the answer edition of What is required for a question to contain "enough information"?
As a continuation of the above, the second key problem that I see Software Recommendations having is people answering questions in a manner that is extremely low quality and not very useful for future visitors. These sort of answers can be broken down as follows:
- Link only answers
- "I Googled your query and found this" answers
- Answers that do not explain how their recommendation meets the requirements of the asker
We've already seen this on the site during private beta and Gilles has already initiated a call to arms to review some of the problems we've encountered so I'm not going to rehash the state of some of the answers that are already on the site. The purpose of this meta post is to come to a clear community agreed consensus on what constitutes an acceptable answer, that can be linked to in future when asking somebody who has answered a question to improve the quality of their content.
Like questions, I feel that high-quality software recommendations (answers) should follow guidelines on both formatting/presentation and content.
The asker has asked for recommendations. Stack Exchange provides a system to upvote and downvote answers (recommendations). In order for this system to work as designed, I feel we need to follow this simple rule: one recommendation per answer.
If this means that you end up posting multiple answers, each with one recommendation in it, then so be it. This is the most useful way to use the Stack Exchange engine to present this information.
This will make it clear when voting takes place what is being voted on, and provide a higher quality of content straight out of the box. Future visitors will be able to clearly see what is being voted on in the recommendation and this will increase the value of the content we provide.
The asker has provided a list of requirements that the software must fulfil. It is the responsibility of the answerer to provide details on how their recommendation fulfils these requirements. Use screenshots if the asker has asked for a clean or intuitive user interface so that the asker doesn't have to install the software to see that you're right.
Detail plugins and community sites if the application you've recommended is extensible in this way. If some of these plugins are required to meet some of the requirements stated by the asker then link to the plugins in the answer.
Formatting is important, try to mirror the formatting in the question in your answer. The asker should have listed their requirements in a list, use their same list in the same order if you can when detailing why your application meets their requirements.
Make sure that points you make that you feel are important are properly emphasised to aid readability and draw the asker's attention to the points you're making.